Friends of the Tenth intend to erect a commemorative stone sculpture on the village green in Somerby to remember the 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.
This is a large open, semi-circular grass area that will allow the artwork to be viewed by pedestrians and also by passing motorists.
Whilst the final design for the sculpture has not been confirmed, it will carry the names of all the members of the Battalion – who were stationed in the village and surrounding areas prior to the Battle of Arnhem.
This will then become a lasting testament to Somerby’s association with the Battalion and a focal point for the annual commemoration service and parade.
Friends of the Tenth have commissioned sculptor, Graeme Mitcheson, to create the sculpture and have also consulted members of the local community on the final design.
The sculpture will mainly consist of three large flat blocks of stone with carving on both the front and back, while there will also two other features that function as seats.
The overall shape of the three stone blocks is inspired by the bridge in Arnhem, the destination of the Battalion, but the target which sadly they never reached.
There will be very much two sides to the sculpture as the aim is to tell two stories, one about the Battalion that spent time in the village, the other focusing on those who gave their lives when they took part in Operation Market Garden over Holland.
On the front, facing All Saints Church, will be the scenes of the soldiers enjoying their time in Somerby with references to the tale of Burrough Court, land girls and Myrtle the Parachick all careved into the stone.
The back of the memorial will tell a very different and more sombre story. On the centre stone will be the name of the Battalion and a brief summary of its history with a backdrop of trees, representing the woods near Oosterbeek.
On either side, there will be the badges of the Battalion and the names of the fallen, then away from the stone will be a single, collapsed parachute carved in stone.
It is Graeme Mitcheson’s hope that the memorial will offer people the chance to reflect on what took place 73 years ago whilst they are there.